The Youngstown Early College (YEC) has been a success story for the Youngstown City School District. Last year, every one of its students graduated.
“I challenge the most affluent cities in our country to put forth a high school where 100 percent of seniors graduate and 91 percent of students graduate with an associate’s degree,” said Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip.
On Thursday, school officials cut the ribbon on what is now the Youngstown Rayen Early College High School.
The program has a new home at 20 W. Wood Street, where the offices of the Youngstown Board of Education were located for years.
Part of the building was also the original Rayen School, dating back to the 1860s.
The $2.7 million renovation created 10 times more space compared with the previously cramped YEC location inside Youngstown State University’s Fedor Hall.
“Because last year we were in just that little… so cramped up. But now it is so good,” said student Miah Pierce.
“I think it just allows the staff, the administration and the faculty to have room to expand,” said teacher Robinette Dotson.
“More room, classes are way more spacious, more tools at our hands now… good move,” said student Aalissia Thomas.
One unique feature is a Mindfulness Center where students can learn to relax.
“Going to a college readiness they’re on a faster track, so before they go home, they get a chance to come in here, unwind,” said Shatasia Walker, a teacher in the new Mindfulness Center.
This year, 266 students are enrolled, up from 240 last year. But with the new building, it can eventually hold 550.